The look (a sequin tank and skirt) is from designer Chris Benz's spring 2010 collection. While the First Lady was criticized for not wearing an American designer to the event, her oldest daughter picked up the slack by supporting an American up-and-coming talent. The designer tweeted that he was "Dying!" upon hearing the news that the Obama tween had chosen to wear his designs.
Benz said that Malia looked both "sweet and sparkly" in his creation. No word on where Malia picked up the dress, but since Benz found out well after the fact that one of his creations was making a state dinner appearance, it's safe to say that the dress was bought and not borrowed. Saks Fifth Avenue, Chicago's trendy Blake boutique and Shopbop.com are among the retailers that stock Chris Benz.
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Benz is actually no stranger to dressing famous daughters. Elettra Wiedemann (daughter of Isabella Rossellini) is a fan and friend of Benz, as is Eva Amurri (daughter of Susan Sarandon). Benz has been a darling of the New York fashion scene since he launched his eponymous label in 2007 thanks to his unexpected use of color and his quirky take on ladylike dressing (he regularly cites his grandmother as inspiration).
Do we have another Obama hitmaker on our hands with 12-year-old Malia? If so, Benz is definitely worthy of some time in the fashion spotlight.